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Dinner at Eight (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama | 12 January 1934 (USA)
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Affluent Millicent and Oliver Jordan throw a dinner for a handful of wealthy and/or well-born acquaintances, each of whom has much to reveal.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Frances Marion (screen play), Herman J. Mankiewicz (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marie Dressler ... Carlotta Vance
John Barrymore ... Larry Renault
Wallace Beery ... Dan Packard
Jean Harlow ... Kitty Packard
Lionel Barrymore ... Oliver Jordan
Lee Tracy ... Max Kane
Edmund Lowe ... Dr. Wayne Talbot
Billie Burke ... Millicent Jordan
Madge Evans ... Paula Jordan
Jean Hersholt ... Jo Stengel
Karen Morley ... Mrs. Lucy Talbot
Louise Closser Hale ... Hattie Loomis
Phillips Holmes ... Ernest DeGraff
May Robson ... Mrs. Wendel
Grant Mitchell ... Ed Loomis
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Storyline

Millicent Jordan is pre-occupied with the plans she is making for a high-class dinner party. Her husband Oliver is in failing health, and he is also worried because someone is trying to buy up the stock in his shipping business - even his old friend Carlotta wants to sell her stock. Hoping to get help from businessman Dan Packard, he persuades Millicent, against her wishes, to invite Packard and his wife to the dinner. As Oliver's problems get worse, Millicent is increasingly quick-tempered because the plans for the party are not going smoothly. As the time for the dinner approaches, it appears that the hosts and the guests will all have plenty on their minds. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dinner at 8 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$435,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dowager character played by Marie Dressler is reportedly based on actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell, for whom George Bernard Shaw wrote the role of Eliza Doolittle in the play "Pygmalion", the basis for the musical My Fair Lady (1964). Mrs. Campbell was legendary for her inappropriate remarks, and she failed dismally in an attempt at a Hollywood film career. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, Millicent tells Oliver, "I see your precious Carlotta Vance arrived yesterday on the Europa." Later, that same day during Carlotta's visit to Oliver's office, she says'"I've been in New York four days and I'm lost." See more »

Quotes

Millicent Jordan: Let's see. I'll put him between Carlotta and that Packard woman.
Hattie Loomis: See if you can get him first and let nature take its course.
Millicent Jordan: I do hope he's free for tonight.
Hattie Loomis: Free, white and forty-five.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Lana Turner... a Daughter's Memoir (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

I Loved You Then As I Love You Now
(1927) (uncredited)
(From Our Dancing Daughters (1928))
Music by William Axt and David Mendoza
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Deeeeelicious!
30 March 2004 | by Bucs1960See all my reviews

When you gather together the great stars of the early 30's, give them a great script, a great director and let them have their head, you get "Dinner at Eight". This is a delightful film which bridges the gap between comedy and drama. Granted, it is a little dated but that it only a minor inconvenience to those of us who love this movie.

You would be hard pressed to find another actress who could play the part of Carlotta Vance with such panache as Marie Dressler.......she is magnificent. She may give the best performance in the film but she has stiff competition from the rest of this star-studded cast.

I find John Barrymore's performance particularly good as it seems to mirror his own career and problems with alcohol. Arranging himself in the right light to capture the great profile one last time is poignant. I am not a Wallace Beery fan but he is spot on as the vulgar, grasping business man with wonderful Jean Harlow as his slutty wife. She is a treat and of course, no one can forget her exchange with Dressler at the end of the film when she announces that she was reading a book! The lovely Billie Burke, who made a film career out of dithering society women (although she was a former Follies beauty and wife of Flo Ziegfeld)is a delight. Lionel Barrymore plays it pretty straight as her long suffering, tragically ill husband. Edmund Lowe passes muster as the philandering doctor and the rest of the supporting cast is as good as it gets.

They don't make 'em like this anymore. It's a movie lovers paradise!


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